Chapter 1 "He's with Amy"


I tried to focus on the cheesy Valentine's decorations tacked up around the school gymnasium to keep my eyes from glazing over. I was so bored; I thought I might actually fall asleep standing up. I stared at Quil Ateara's moving mouth, not hearing a word he was saying. It felt like he'd been talking non-stop about his precious imprint, five year old Claire, for hours. She was a darling child, but my tolerance for listening about Claire's antics had run out at least twenty minutes earlier.

"And then I read Big Busy Bus Bounces to Boise to her and…" Quil droned on. My smile felt like it was set in concrete. I tried to act interested as I nodded and struggled to keep my eyes from crossing. At least Quil looked handsome in his new Raf Simons suit. I glanced around numbly, mindlessly agreeing when there was a pause in the endless monologue. All the pack members who'd attended tonight's dance were dressed beautifully. I smiled to myself. Things certainly had undergone a radical transformation for the pack since the old days of ratty cut off sweatpants.

The change began about three years ago when events at La Push began to domino. In a defense against Victoria's newborn army, the pack began growing explosively. Much to everyone's shock, twelve and thirteen year old boys began phasing left and right. With the demands of round the clock patrols, the boys were sleep deprived and regularly missing classes at school. The tribal council realized that the entire pack was in danger of failing out of school. The elders put their collective foot down. Pack members were role models and the future leaders of the Quileute tribe. Not only did they need to finish high school, they needed to attend and graduate from college as well. Private tutors were to be hired to home school the pack year round from middle school through college, the council concluded. Since the pack couldn't make it to school, school would come to them.

It was a great idea but the problem was money, or lack of it. Finally, I had an epiphany. I liked to see the tall, dark and handsome men half naked…wouldn't everyone else? So the idea of a pack member calendar was born, and wouldn't you know it, it had been a huge hit. (My personal favorite was Mr. January, a steamy picture of an apparently naked Jacob rising out of a snowy lake and waterfall.)

An up and coming Seattle modeling firm saw Jake, and offered him and the rest of the pack contracts for modeling jobs. This ended up being a great opportunity to boost revenues at the reservation, pay pack members and fund the education of the pack. I spent the past few years managing their jobs and schedules, but I eventually hired an assistant, my good friend Leah Clearwater, and began attending the University of Washington (a.k.a. UDub) when Jake suggested we start college together.

Jacob and I had become inseparable ever since Edward left me in the forest some three and a half years ago. Throughout college, we were practically joined at the hip. There was never even a question that we'd come to tonight's dance together.

With Jake's gregarious personality, I always had a great time at school functions but something strange was going on tonight. For some reason, he had abandoned me as soon as we'd arrived at the dance. Friends had pulled us in different directions and, without a word to me, Jacob disappeared to the other side of the gym. I watched him from across the room sitting with Embry Call, as he flirted outrageously with a herd of panting undergraduates. What the hell was he doing?

I was getting annoyed with Jacob. When he'd picked me up this evening, he'd instantly brought up one of my classmates, Amy Nichols. I didn't know they even knew each other. He barely got me in the car when he started grilling me for information, asking me all sorts of questions about her. Did I like her? Didn't I think she was cute? What did I really think of her? I was perplexed and none too pleased. Why did he need to know anything about Amy Nichols? And why was he flirting with every girl at UDub leaving me stuck listening to Quil all night? I didn't understand. Why didn't he come over? Didn't he want to be with me?

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Amy Nichols come into the gym and head over to the swarming mob surrounding Jake and Embry. I gave up any pretense of listening to Quil and watched her intently. To my amazement, Jacob waved Amy over and then shoved Embry off his stool and waited while Amy sat down next to him. My mouth fell open as he picked up Amy on her stool, and plopped her as close to him as possible.

The two of them began talking intimately; leaning into each other so closely it looked as if they were glued together. Jacob was gazing deeply into her eyes and seemed to be nuzzling her ear, whispering to her. Blood started pounding at my temples. I saw him staring down at her chest like it was calling his name. I was afraid if he got any closer, he'd get his nose wedged in between her boobs and be permanently stuck there. My jaw and fists were clenched so tightly blood couldn't flow through them. Jacob stretched out a hand and rubbed his finger sensuously over her collarbone. Then he looked down into her face and he… Suddenly, I went ballistic.

Oh. My. God! Did he just smile? He did. My beautiful Jacob was smiling down into the eyes of that bitch! He was giving MY smile to somebody else. MY smile! He was sitting there looking delectable in the stunning black suit and red silk tie that I had picked out for this very night. His hand was on her arm. How dare he???

My fury faded away and a lump formed in my throat. I painfully reminded myself that my Jacob could do anything he wanted. He was a free agent. He'd made his feelings for me known, time and time again. And I'd rebuffed him. Constantly. Any time he'd become too physical, I'd brushed him off with a smile. He'd had enough of it. Just like me, he was moving on. Why wouldn't he? He was a gorgeous man, and really, Amy wasn't a bitch. She was a nice, cute girl. She wasn't good enough for my Jacob, but then, who was?

Tears pooled behind my eyelids as I sawed my lips with my teeth, trying to keep them from trembling. Please, don't let me break down into tears in the middle of this god forsaken dance floor! What had I been thinking? How selfish could I possibly be?

I had been so consumed by the pain I had gone through when Edward left me that I had to have Jacob love me, whether I wanted him or not. I needed him to love me because at least then I knew that someonewanted me, since Edward hadn't. Now that I finally had gotten through the pain of Edward moving on…I finally grasped that the one thing that could make me whole again had been in front of me this entire time! The realization hit me right between the eyes. The one thing I needed was Jacob Black - because I was in love with him. The breath suddenly escaped my body and I gasped for air feeling like I was being crushed under a ton of bricks. My knees felt weak and I wondered if I'd be able to remain standing.

My brain started screaming at me, "YOU LOVE JAKE, YOU IDIOT!" Not in the sweet, friendship way I'd always thought, the way I'd always told him. No, I really LOVED him; the way a woman loves the man with whom she wanted to spend her life. I craved him.

Someone was saying something to me. I had to move. Why were these people bothering me? Why wouldn't they just leave me alone? Didn't they realize my life was crumbling before my very eyes? I stumbled to the refreshment table, trying to look occupied. Holy crap, couldn't I come to this conclusion in private? Did I really have to realize I was a total moron and completely in love with my best friend in front of three hundred witnesses? I didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't want to see anyone, especially not Jake and Amy, with their hands all over each other, looking like they were having a wonderful time. Dear God, he couldn't have imprinted, could he? Oh no, no, no, no, no please God, no.

I didn't deserve Jake. It was probably best that he was with Amy. She was sweet and she most likely would think of Jake first. She was looking at him like he was all she could think about. She wasn't a self-absorbed shit that took Jake for granted, like me, who had always blamed Edward for wrecking my life. Talk about someone ruining lives…I had acted no better than Edward. Jake had loved me, really loved me but I'd tossed that love to the side like it wasn't good enough for me, like I had something that was so much better.

Jake had never pushed me. He'd never made decisions for me. He'd talked to me; he'd included me in every aspect of his life. Unlike Edward, he'd been there for me whenever I'd needed him; he'd been whatever I'd needed. And what had I done? I'd trampled on him and his love, expecting him to always be there for me to lean on, but now? Now he was moving on. I wanted so badly to be happy for him, but I couldn't get beyond my own pain as I tried to choke back my sobs.

I had to get myself together. I grabbed a glass of the punch that had been put out, just to find that it had been spiked as usual. Good. Maybe I'd get shit faced and make my life so much better. I downed it quickly and reached for another. I never drank. One glass of punch should put me on my butt. Two would be even better. As I tipped that one down, I felt someone at my shoulder and a burning warm hand touched my waist. I inhaled and whipped around. Jake? No, it was Embry. I felt the air slowly rush out of me and I knocked down a third glass of punch, toasting silently to my disappointment.

"Hey, Bells! You look fab-u-LOUS, girl!" he leered down my neckline and waggled his eyebrows like a goofball. "Are you trying to make Jake insane?" he grinned as he pushed my shoulder.

"I think Jacob is otherwise occupied, Embry," I smiled weakly. Please don't let me humiliate myself in front of Jake's pack; I silently prayed to anyone who might be listening from above. Any embarrassing deed of mine would be passed in a flash to the rest of the pack members like a You Tube video through the Internet as soon as they phased. I downed another glass of punch. With some false courage, I would be able to fake happiness through this horrible night.

"Well, Hell's Bells, if he's not looking, let's take advantage and wrap around each other on the dance floor," he snickered as he dragged me to the floor.

The last glass of punch I'd gulped was giving me a nice, numb feeling. Embry was a good dancer and thanks to his ability to think fast in tight situations, he was able to haul me around without being knocked over by my lack of dancing skills. The alcohol helped relax me, and I was able to lean into Embry, closing my eyes and pretending that it was my Jacob's warm arms that were guiding me. Jake told me once that Embry always had a little crush on me. He snuggled me closer, and as he did, I realized that he didn't smell right, that he didn't smell like my Jacob. I sighed against his chest. Maybe I'd use Embry and crush his heart, too. Maybe he, too, would get sick of me and start drooling over Amy. Maybe I should introduce them now so she'd get her mitts off my Jacob.

Suddenly, Embry tensed. "Uh, Bells, I don't think Jake is all that occupied." I heard him gulp loudly. "Actually," he stuttered, sounding a little worried, "I think he's going to come over here and de-nut me." I scoffed. Like Jake cared what I did or who I did it with.

"He's with Amy," I mumbled into his shoulder. The four glasses of punch had taken immediate effect and I knew I wouldn't be able to turn and look at them. I couldn't deal with seeing Jake happy with somebody other than me.

"Look Bells, he's going to rip my head off if we keep dancing. What do you say we just go back and get something to drink," he dug me out of his shoulder and shepherded me back to the refreshment table.

Drink? Another drink? What a good idea; it sounded like it was just what I needed. Embry pushed another glass in my hand and took a step away from me. He was staring over his shoulder and seemed very concerned with what was there.

I owlishly glanced that way too and saw Jake staring at Embry with fire shooting out from his eyes. I smiled at Jacob and gave him a little wave. He was so sweet, all worried about me, I thought as my eyes tried to focus on his precious face. Actually, he didn't look all that sweet at present. His face was all tensed up and his nostrils were flaring. I saw that bimbo, Amy, tugging on his arm, trying to get his attention. No, she wasn't a bimbo; I reminded myself as I shook my head. She was a nice girl, a sweet girl. I wanted to rip all of her pretty blond hair out, and we'd see how cute she was then.

"Let's just sit you down over here, Bells, by these nice girls," Embry pushed me a little frantically towards a quiet group of single girls. He shoved me into a seat. "Here you go, Bells. Need anything? No? Well, I see someone I really need to talk to…gotta go!" He was gone in a flash.

I looked around, a little confused. A minute ago, I was comfortably into my Jacob fantasy, dancing against Embry's chest. In a matter of seconds, I'd had a drink shoved in my hands, a chair shoved under my butt and Embry had disappeared like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were after him. I snickered at the thought as I tried to focus on the crowd to see where he'd gone. My eyes fell to my hands. Oh, a cup! What goes in a cup? A drink! What a good idea! Let's have another one! Mmmm. I loved this punch. Maybe, I should have some more. How did I live without it before now?

Before I could stagger to my feet, two black shoes appeared before me. I looked up slowly, dragging in my breath. About a foot too soon, my eyes took in the face of one of my classmates, Rick Graves. Not Jake, Rick. The air left my chest again. God, this night was full of disappointments.

"Hey, Bella, want to dance?" he inquired, smiling pleasantly. It was a nice smile. It just wasn't my smile. My smile was being given to that bitch, Amy. No, she wasn't a bitch. She just needed to get her ass away from my Jacob. She didn't deserve a Jacob smile.

"Shuuure, Rick!" I wasn't slurring yet, I noticed with pride. But the punch was making short work of any inhibitions I might have had. "I'd love to dance. Wearing steel toed shoes?" I snickered. My classmates had seen my clumsiness on a daily basis. Anyone asking me to dance knew what he was getting into.

"Naw, I'm gonna tough it out. Just getting you in my arms is worth the risk." I thought this was very nice and patted the arm reaching around my hips. The arm wasn't long enough; it wasn't warm enough. It was the wrong arm. Another wrong arm came around my other side and I was crushed into another chest. This chest wasn't right, either. It was even worse than Embry's because at least Embry's chest was the right temperature and was almost the right height. I sighed. One of the arms came up and a hand touched my hair. That was nice. Jake touched my hair all the time. This hand wasn't doing it quite right, but it was good enough for my purposes. I closed my eyes and pretended it was his hand stroking my hair. I could go with this.

"I'm so glad to get you to myself, Bella," a wrong voice whispered into my ear. I looked up confused. Oh, yeah, Rick. I wished he'd shut up. He was messing up my hair fantasy. "It's good to see you away from Black, for once," he was blabbing again. If he kept running his mouth, I couldn't pretend he was Jake.

"He's with Amy," I frowned. I didn't need the reminder. Just get back to the hair thing, Rick, I thought irritably. He did. I smiled and turned into his chest. That was better. My blood warmed with the punch I'd consumed. Mmmm, Jake was running one hand up my back and digging into my hair. His sweet mouth was licking my ear and skating down my neck. His smell was off, probably because he'd been around that bitch, Amy, sweet, precious Amy. I was going to kick her ass in civics class. Jake was rubbing against me. I could feel his erection in my stomach. His lips were trailing my cheek and had just touched my lips when suddenly, Jake was jerked away from me. I started to stagger but was saved when I was pulled behind a huge, hot body. Jake? Huh? Wasn't I dancing with Jake?

A furious voice bit out, "What in the fuck do you think you're doing, Graves?" Somehow, Rick Graves had intruded into my Jacob fantasy. A burning hand, Jacob's hand was wrapped around my waist. I looked up to see Jake had his other hand thrust into the neck of a very startled Rick Graves. Jake was shoving him against a wall, dragging me along behind.

"I am going to rip off your dick and shove it down your throat, you piece of shit," Jake's menacing voice growled into Rick's ear. "Don't you ever lay a finger on her again."

I stumbled against Jake. "Heeeey, Jake!" I crowed. "You're with Amy," I nodded wisely.

Jake turned to look at me and suddenly his face took on a horrified expression. "Bella, you are drunk off your ass," he whispered savagely to me.

"Oh, no, I'm drunk on my feet, Jakey," I giggled. I was very pleased I'd stayed upright the whole night. "I haven't fallen down once," I announced proudly.

Jake turned his basilisk like stare on Rick once again and bounced his head against the wall. "What kind of low life fuck are you, getting her drunk and putting moves on her?"

Something terrible seemed to click in Jake's brain. His head whipped around to stare at me. A subtle change came over his face. It took on a feral quality I'd never seen before. He turned back to Rick and literally slid Rick up the wall a foot so he could stare straight into his eyes, making Rick's body dangle like a puppet's. Jake's lips curled back from his teeth. He shoved his face into Rick's and I watched as his eyes narrowed. He slowly and carefully turned his head as if he was positioning himself at just the right angle to rip out Rick's throat.

"Did you put something in her drink?" his voice dropped to a slow, vicious whisper. The menacing sound of Jake's voice and his primal stance made my hair stand on end. Rick's face had an expression of frozen horror. I tried to get Jake's attention but he was fixated on Rick with the intensity of a predator before it struck its prey. Rick gasped frantically as Jake's fingers tightened. Jake leaned in closer to Rick's throat, almost touching it. The low, intense whisper continued. "I am going to tear off your head and piss down your throat, you fucking-"

"Hey, Jake, we got it from here, bro." The anxious voices of Quil, Embry and Jared surrounded us as three of Jake's pack mates rushed up on either side of Rick. They gave Jake reassuring looks as they tried to pry his hand off Rick's throat. I could see Rick's face was turning a strange shade of purple and his eyes were starting to bug out in a peculiar manner. Now that the pack had arrived, I relaxed. I looked at Rick. He really looked very funny, dangling there. I started to giggle - loudly.

"Jake, man, JAKE! You got to let the son of a bitch go. You're going to kill him!" The guys couldn't peel Jake's iron fingers back from Rick's throat. "Jake, you can't rip his head off in public, dude." This struck me as funny, too.

"Take care of Bella. We'll take care of this guy. He won't bother her again. Ever. Will you?" They glared at Rick who was making hysterical wheezing noises. He tried to shake his head against Jake's vice like grip.

"You're gonna crush the asshole's windpipe, man. Bella needs you, Jake. You have gotta get her out of here." Embry pleaded with him.

Rick looked so funny, like he was going to poop his pants or pop his eyes out. I couldn't tell which first. I laughed uproariously as I weaved furiously about, anchored by Jake's clasp on my waist.

Jake glanced at me and finally relented his hold on Rick's neck. Rick crumpled to the floor and his breath rasped heavily in his throat. He looked about frantically for an escape but found none as four huge Quileutes surrounded him. His face went from purple to white in record time, with dark red swelling already showing on his neck. He looked up at Jake like Wile E. Coyote waiting for the anvil to fall on his head. By this time, I had deteriorated into snorting gales of laughter.

Jake turned me into him and seemed to be sniffing me cautiously. I started dancing in his arms, singing along with the music. This was a great song. I loved dancing. I was a great dancer and an even better singer. Jake and Embry seemed to be arguing over something. Who cared? I was having a wonderful time. Amy Nichols was nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly, I was swung around and Jake strode out of the room, half carrying, and half dragging me behind him. He slammed open the closest exit door and dropped me on a bench just outside the building.

"Just what in the holy fuck do you think you are doing, Bella?" Jake snarled in my ear. I smiled beatifically at him.

"Hey Jake, I loooved my head rubbing. Would you do it again?" I tried to burrow my head under his tense arm.

"Again?? Bella, I haven't touched you all night. That was Rick Graves who had his hands all over you. And that's not the only thing he was rubbing against you!" Jake seemed to be about to blow a gasket. "Did he give you a drink?"

"It's okay, Jake. I kept pretending he was you. It worked out just fine as long as he kept his mouth shut." I grinned at him so he would see everything was all right.

"It certainly is not OKAY, Bella! You were practically dry humping every guy you came in contact with!" He was not calming down. He seemed to be working himself up into an even more ferocious temper. "Did that son of a bitch give you a drink?"

I looped my arms around his neck as he was bending down with his face just inches from mine.

"Awww, don't fuss at me Jacob. No, he didn't give me a drink. I did it all on my own. And I didn't hump anybody. I danced with Embry 'cause he was warm and he reminded me of you and I just pretended Rick was you rubbing me. That's okay, isn't it? You were with her, you know. You're not mad at me, are you?" I stared into his beautiful eyes. I could feel tears pooling in mine. I couldn't stand for Jake to be mad at me at any time, but especially not tonight.

He looked stricken at my expression. "No, honey, I'm not mad-" he started to say and then interrupted himself. "Hell, yeah, I'm mad, Bella. I don't care what you were pretending. I can tell you what was happening: and one thing that wasn't happening. You were NOT rubbing yourself against me! Embry and Graves were all over you at that miserable dance and you let it happen! And you were drinking yourself into oblivion!" He was seething.

I stared up at his angry face and promptly burst into noisy tears. Jake instantly sat beside me and scooped me onto his lap. I sobbed into his sweet neck. He stroked my back soothingly.

"It's all right, sweetheart. It's all right. Don't cry now. I'm not mad anymore. I just don't understand. What's gotten into you?"

He was holding me close and rubbing my back in small circles. I shuddered and sniffed noisily. I leaned back so I could look him in the eye. "You were with Amy," I howled accusingly. I instantly felt the tears start again and I collapsed back into his chest, clutching his neck like it was a lifeline.

"Honey, I was just talking to her. I wasn't groping her or kissing her neck or humping her or even dancing with her."

"No," I sobbed, inconsolable. "She's too nice for that. She's so nice. I'm so ha-ha-hap-ahappy for you, Jake," I cried, clutching him as close as I could.

"You don't look too happy, Bells. Now, tell me what's the matter, sweetheart. You know you can tell me anything," he was stroking my hair and nuzzling my cheek.

"Oh, Jake, I'm such a stupid shit," I wailed, tears flowing.

"You are not a stupid shit, Bella. You just drank too much and acted like a stupid shit tonight. Now, what's going on?"

"I can't tell you," I hiccupped. "It's just too hu-humiliating!" I couldn't look him in the eye; much less tell him what an idiot I'd been. I leaned my nose into Jacob's neck. I loved to smell my Jacob. His woodsy smell mixed invitingly with the clean linen of his shirt. He looked so handsome tonight in his beautiful black suit. I wanted to dive into his skin.

"You smell so good, Jake. Have I ever told you how good you smell?" I rubbed my nose against his neck and then traced a line from his collar to his ear with my tongue. My inhibitions were all long gone. "Mmmm, you taste good too, Jake." I'd wanted to taste him for months. I bit his earlobe and swirled my tongue along the outer edge of his ear. "I love this ear, Jake. Have I ever told you that? Mmmm, it's so sweet and it makes me want to just…" I breathed in his ear and traced the inner folds delicately with my tongue. His ears were so precious. I could spend an hour, just loving on that one sweet ear. I loved every little bit of him. All of him was wonderful to me. I squirmed on his lap.

It finally struck me that Jake had suddenly tensed up and was no longer stroking me. He probably wanted to dump my drunken ass on the ground and go get perfect Amy.

"Bella, honey, stop. You can't be doing that kind of stuff in your condition. I can't take it, sweetheart. Now, let's get your things and I'll take you home."

"I don't want to go home, Jake. I want to be with you," I snuggled in his chest, happy again I'd gotten him away from that home wrecker, Amy. "Don't you want to be with me, Jake?" I ran my hand up his throat and turned his face till we touched noses.

He closed his eyes and groaned. His head fell forward into my neck and I could feel his nose slide up my neck to my jaw. Mmmm, felt soooo good. My hands encased his huge shoulders. I reached around and ran my fingers up the back of his neck and into his silky hair.

"Bella, please, sweetheart, you don't know what you're doing," he moaned. "Now, keep your hands to yourself and let's get out of here."

"I know exactly what I'm doing, Jake," I whispered in his ear. "I'm seducing you," I giggled. "How do you think it's going?" I nudged my nose in his other sweet ear. "This one didn't get any attention, Jake. It feels neglected," I started drawing my tongue around its curves.

"Alright, that's it," Jake snapped and stood up abruptly. He held me in his arms and I wormed into his chest. I reached up to get his ear back. It needed more attention.

"Bella, keep your hands to yourself, now, I mean it!" he growled as he started moving towards the door.

I caressed the sweet ear. I wanted it back. I started to whine. "But Jake, it feels lonely. It didn't get-" My arms were suddenly grabbed in one huge hand and brought down to my waist.

"Bella, I'm telling you right now, you have driven me over the edge." he hissed viciously in my ear. "I can't take any more and unless you want me to pile drive you against the side of this godforsaken school, you are going to keep your goddamn hands and mouth to your goddamn self. Now, do I need to be any more fucking clear?"

"Okay," I giggled. "That looks like a good place over there," I pointed to a columned area behind the school.

Jake stared at my face in shock and then clenched his eyes closed and lowered his head. "Christ almighty," he gasped. "Please, Bella, please, no more. For me, honey, please just sit quietly and don't say another word. Please sweetheart!"

"Do you want her, Jake? Do you not want me any more? Did you imprint on her?" I didn't think I could take the answers but I couldn't seem to keep my mouth from spewing forth the questions.

Jake inhaled slowly and paused before opening his eyes. He stared deep into mine. "Bella, you know there is no one for me but you. I don't want any woman other than you. I can't think of any woman, other than you."

I stared up in his beautiful, sincere eyes and burst into tears yet again. "I'm such a horrible person, Jake. I don't deserve you," I sobbed down his neck.

"No you're not. Now quit talking about yourself like that. We're going to get you home and get some coffee in you. And after you sober up a little, we're going to get you in bed. I won't leave you, honey." He stroked my head. He was muttering under his breath.

A door slammed open and I heard Embry's voice. Jake stopped playing with my hair. What was Embry doing out here? Why couldn't he just go away and leave me alone with my Jacob? I wished a sinkhole would conveniently appear and swallow Embry whole so I could have Jacob to myself again. I could hear their voices but didn't care what they said. My sobs subsided as I crawled up Jake's neck and started rubbing my hair against his jaw. He was so warm and loving. When he talked to Embry, I could feel the words vibrate through his chest. Mmmm. I closed my eyes and let the alcohol and Jake's nearness relax me. Maybe I'd take a little nap.

"Bella, Bella sweetheart," Jake's voice raised me from my stupor. "How many drinks did you have?"

"Eeeeyyeeedunno." That came out funny. I couldn't keep my words straight. I shook my head. Bad idea. I was starting to feel a little dizzy. How many drinks? I looked at both of my hands as if they could give me the answer. "Four or sssicksss or sumthun lik that." I made a three, then a five then a seven with my fingers, turning my hands back and forth.

Jake and Embry were exchanging sharp words. The only word I paid attention to was the dreaded H word-hospital.

"I'm not going ta the hoshpital, Jakey." I couldn't focus on both of his eyes simultaneously so I looked directly into one and tapped his chest as I made my point. "I tol you, I haven fallen dow once. I jus feel a liddle dizzy, thas all." What was the matter with him? I didn't need a hospital. I snuggled back and closed my eyes.

Embry kept running his mouth and upsetting Jake. We were moving and I cracked one eye open to see the parking lot. Their voices faded. The parking lot started going round and round. Uhggg. We got to Jake's car and I felt myself being moved to other arms. "Jake!" I whined, reaching frantically for him.

"Right here, sweetheart." I felt myself being carefully placed on his lap in the car. Hmmm, I nestled in his arms and closed my eyes, trying desperately to keep the car from swirling.

"I love you, Jake," I mumbled into his neck. I felt everything going quiet and black.

I heard Jake's voice from a distance.

"I know sweetheart. I love you too."